Klaus Ehrlich studied Economics – Business Administration at the University of Siegen (DE) from 1976-1983, in parallel active in the student’s representation and a year at the University of Sevilla (81/82). In 1985 he settled as a free-lance Consultant for Local and Rural Development, being involved in the European discussion process regarding “soft”, responsible, and Sustainable Tourism since the very beginning. Co-founder of the Regional NGO Provider’s Organisation for Rural Accommodation “RAAR-Red Andaluza de Alojamientos Rurales” in 1991, where he was Chairman, General Manager, and now remains member of the Executive Committee. From 2002 until 2010, he was President of EuroGites – European Federation of Rural Tourism, since then Secretary General. Vice-President of ETAG-European Tourism and Travel Advisory Group. Member of the Advisory Commission on Rural Development to the DG Agriculture of the EC, member of the former Working Group on Sustainable Tourism at DG Enterprise of the European Commission. Cooperation with the UNWTO-World Tourism Organisation and international (EU and wider Europe) projects in specific topics.
Professional activity relates – apart from the generic tasks of managing trade organisations – to promotional services vía internet and ICT, professional training activities related with Rural Tourism and rural development in general, scientific research and follow-up of Quality perception of tourists in RT, and development of nature-based tourism products. Overall responsible for the organisation and content of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th European Congress on Rural Tourism (oct 2003 / 2005 / 2007 / 2012). Involved in IT and ICT-related projects and activities since 1986. Participation in specific ad-hoc working groups at the EU, the most recent ones being related with the establishment of the European Tourism Quality label, the Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Europe, the preparatory action Calypso on “Tourism for All”, and most recently the EU expert group on Senior Tourism. Professional contacts in 25 countries, including island, transitional, and developing economies, which allow drawing on a wide scope of practical experiences.